Prescription drugs can save your life. But interactions between prescription drugs and other drugs or with illnesses or conditions you have can lead to significant consequences. Drug interactions may make your drug less effective, cause unexpected side effects, or increase the action of a particular medication. Some drug interactions can even be harmful to you.
Here are several tips for restricting the possibility of experiencing these consequences:
* Make certain that all your doctors know all the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medication. Elderly persons in particular may see several distinct specialists. All your physicians should know about anything you are taking
* Make sure that you know all the medications you are taking. If you are on several, you ought to keep their names and doses jotted down on an index card in your wallet or handbag. That way, you can reference them if you happen to wind up in the emergency area or whenever you start working with a new healthcare provider.
* Read the labels. Before using any product, including an over-the-counter medication, read the label for interactions. If you do not know whether one of the medications you are taking matches a category of medication you should not use, ask the pharmacist for assistance.
* Make friends with your pharmacist. If you always go to the same pharmacy, your pharmacist will have all of your drugs on document and can alert you to potential interactions. If at all possible, locating a pharmacy where there are just a couple of pharmacists that are always on duty will enhance the chances of them catching problems.
* Even topical medications can interact. You may be getting an antibiotic ointment to get a skin condition - ask your healthcare provider about whether you will need to wear sunscreen (to stop sunlight interacting with the medication and providing you a burn!) while using it.
* Other things to think about:
1. Herbal supplements, even if purchased in the shop, may not have a comprehensive collection of interactions available. Speak with your physician about if these herbal supplements may harm you - if you are not sure, it is not worth the risk.
2. If you enjoy alcoholic beverages, ask your pharmacist about potential interactions with your medications; you may need to give them a miss until you are through with your medication
3. Even things that don't look like"real" medicine (antacids, vitamins, diet pills, fiber supplements) may make it hard for you to absorb your medications or interfere with their function; your pharmacist can be a fantastic source in deciding what to take.